Shelby G. Floyd

Sowing and Reaping

We have all heard it said that you will reap what you sow—the proverb is a true axiom in the physical, moral and spiritual realms of life. It is the law of cause and effect.


In the history of God’s dealing with his people Israel we have many examples that bear this out. For example, after the death of Joshua, there was still land to be taken and enemies to be subdued. God promised Judah that he had given the land of the Canaanites into their hand. Judah invited the Simeonites to join them in the battle and together they defeated the Canaanites and Perizzites:

Judges 1:4-7
Then Judah went up, and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they killed ten thousand men at Bezek. And they found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek, and fought against him; and they defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Then Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. And Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me.” Then they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.

It is noteworthy here that Adoni-Bezek confesses that he is reaping what he had sown. He had cut off the thumbs and big toes of seventy kings that he had defeated and reduced them to slaves. As someone said one time, “He had to call a big tow-truck!” The hands and the feet need the thumbs and the big toes to function at many tasks. His confession should cause us to be sober about how we treat other people: “As I have done, so God has repaid me” (Judges 1:7).

Paul the apostle taught that in the physical and spiritual realms we “reap what we sow.” In the book of Galatians we have his classical statement:

Galatians 6:7-8
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life


Any person who believes that one may sow one thing, and yet reap another, is self-deceived, and attempts to mock God. It is one thing to mock man, and it is another thing to mock God (Job 13:9.) God cannot be mocked, that is, one cannot mock God without reaping the consequences. The reason God cannot be mocked is because whatever a man sows, that same thing shall he also reap.


Let us notice several observations concerning the statement of Paul to the Galatians. First, we notice that a person will reap exactly the same kind of seed which is sown. The kind of seed we sow determines the kind of harvest we shall reap. For instance, in the parable of the sower Jesus stated that the seed is the word of God (Luke 8: 11). The word of God, if sown in the right kind of soil, will produce a Christian, a child of God. In another parable Jesus stated that the devil, the enemy of God and all mankind, sows tares in the world. The tares were the children of the wicked one. The devil cannot sow tares and expect to reap children of God; neither does Jesus sow the good seed, the children of the kingdom, and expect to reap the children of the wicked one.

A person will reap exactly according to the kind of seed that is sown. This is also true in the realm of our behavior and the way we conduct our lives. According to this principle, we read the following observation in the book of Job: “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed” (Job 4:8-9). From the pen of the wise man Solomon, we read that: “He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity; and the rod of his anger shall fail” (Proverbs 22: 8).

Therefore the law of sowing and reaping is true in almost every realm of man’s life. That law is that we reap exactly what we sow. According to this principle therefore, one cannot sow deception and reap confidence, sow sparingly and reap bountifully, sow bad habits and reap good character, sow seeds of cruelty and reap a harvest of mercy, sow dissipation and reap a strong body, sow gossip and retain one’s friends and sow neglect of the great salvation and go to heaven. Still though many people believe that there are exceptions to this law, and that one does not necessarily reap what one sows. Someone asked this very pointed question, “Do you sow wild oats Monday through Saturday and pray for a crop failure on Sunday?” Of course it wouldn’t do any good to pray because the law is what we sow we reap.

The second observation which we make concerning Paul’s statement to the Galatians is that one reaps more than he sows. In the parable of the sower Jesus spoke of the word of God, sown in good soil, as bringing forth 30, 60 and a 100 fold. That simply means that one grain of seed would produce 30, 60 or 100. This indicates then that in the natural, moral and. spiritual world, one will always reap more than he sows whether it is for good or for bad. In the words of Hosea, when one sows the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). In this connection, C. D. Boardman has made the following observations:

“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act and you reap a habit, sow a habit and you reap a character, sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

It is always true that a person will reap more than he sows.

“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
–Genesis 8:22

In view of all this, let every Christian sow to the Spirit and reap of the Spirit life everlasting.

Copyright © 2010, 2016 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142

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